OT: The hotness that was Barry Sanders running the football

Submitted by Derek on November 30th, 2010 at 5:22 PM

I figured that I would post something excellent for people to watch rather than talking about you-know-what. After watching it, I can sympathize with the Lions for deciding that "hand it to Barry" would be their Super Bowl-winning strategy for ten seasons.

(Via Kottke.)

Edit: The embed was too big.



November 30th, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

He might be the only one who can run like that and succeed in the NFL. Seeing him cut in the hole around one defender and then cut around another and then hit the open field - he was truly one of a kind. Or maybe two if his kid is just like him.

Also - kinda weird seeing the Lions in blue pants. I don't remember that.


November 30th, 2010 at 7:00 PM ^

Seriously, name any other athlete you have ever watched that was more exciting to watch than Barry.  MJ, Kobe, Jerry Rice, Gretsky, those type of dominant winning players are fun to watch. But for the trully consistent "Holy Shit, What Is That Guy Even Doing" feel, Barry is my all time topper.  Vintage Sac Kings Jason Williams playing with C-Webb and Divac had a similar every play something crazy could happen feel . Zidane had a matching effortless beauty where he seemed to be playing slower yet faster than everyone at the same time. I remember watching Larinov with the Wings and thinking "Jesus, when he was young he must have been plain jaw dropping."  Mike Tyson was an equal small package of dynamite that you watched nervously like a fire cracker because you knew it was going to pop, just not sure when.  But no one I have ever seen has made me enjoy their sport in such a unique way as watching Barry run. 

   Thanks for the reminder on a day when my great escape from reality, Michigan football, is so filled with lame fail from the ugly side of fandom.  Wake me up when there is bowl game and I get to watch Denard run again.  Feel thankful I get to cheer for Martin and Molk as they play their hearts out again.  Watch and root for some seniors who I get to see in the winged helmets for the last time, marking another year of life passing.  And lastly, watch for hints from Avery, Demens, Gordon, Lewan and maybe a surpriser that a future may exist where something beautiful happens again.  Then I will get to remember that this is simply a game that win, lose, whatever, can be just plain fun to watch.

Nosce Te Ipsum

November 30th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

I seem to remember a game where the other team's defense asked the refs to check Barry's jersey because they thought he had applied something to it to make it slick so they couldn't get a grip on it. Does anyone remember anything like that?


November 30th, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

One of the truly iconic football players in the modern era - everyone who watched football during his career has a favorite Barry Sanders run.  One of most heated arguments I ever got into about sports was when a guy in college tried to convince me that Smith was a better RB because he had the rushing record, even though Sanders retired with the mark well in sight and Smith hung around way too long to eek it out. 


November 30th, 2010 at 7:20 PM ^

Behind all of the spins and stutter-stepping was the fact that Barry kept his feet moving even with contact.  That was the reason he was always a threat to go long on every run - most guys take contact and then slow down.  Sanders just kept moving, and so the defense would sometimes fall asleep on him and figure he couldn't/wouldn't change direction or bounce off guys. 


November 30th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

(drumroll) ...he did what he did while playing for the Lions. Brown, Payton, Sayers, et al, played on great teams. Barry had the Lions.

Sgt. Wolverine

November 30th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

I have fond memories of going to the Silverdome to watch Barry do things you'd think no human could do -- up to and including making the Lions win games.  His ability to change direction in complete rebellion of the laws of physics was astounding.  I haven't seen any other athlete come close to being superhuman like Barry was.

When Barry was on the field, there was always hope for the Lions.  Now...

My two favorite NFL athletes are Walter Payton and Barry Sanders, and I'll happily punch the nose of anyone who tries to tell me Emmitt Smith was better than either of them.  He wasn't better -- he just played with some incredible offensive lines (a luxury both Payton and Sanders often lacked), and he managed to prolong his career WAY too long for the sole purpose of breaking Payton's rushing record.

fair warning

November 30th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

Barry was the best.  Not many Lions fans in my neck of the woods but that didn't matter.  We all wanted to watch him rip 80 for a TD--even if he was playing against our team!


November 30th, 2010 at 7:52 PM ^

Barry was a great NFL RB, though I agree it's debatable where he places in the all-time ranks; he's certainly top 5.

However, his 1988 Heisman season is ridiculous.

- 18 carries, 178 yards, 2 TDs (plus one a KO return for TD)
- 20 carries, 157 yards, 2 TDs (plus one punt return for TD)
- 33 carries, 304 yards, 5 TDs
- 24 carries, 174 yards, 4 TDs
- 34 carries, 189 yards, 4 TDs
- 25 carries, 154 yards, 2 TDs
- 37 carries, 320 yards, 3 TDs
- 39 carries, 215 yards, 2 TDs
- 37 carries, 312 yards, 5 TDs
- 32 carries, 293 yards, 4 TDs
- 44 carries, 332 yards, 4 TDs
- 29 carries, 222 yards, 5 TDs [Holiday Bowl]

373 carries, 2850 yards, 42 rushing TDs (including the bowl game). He also had 106 yards receiving.

College records are often silly, as teams play 13 or 14 games, as opposed to the 11 or so from a decade ago.  But it says something that no one has come close to his rushing records (esp. since now they count bowl games but technically speaking, Barry's bowl games don't "count" to the NCAA; still, no one comes near him).